Child Abuse and Neglect
There are over 3 million reports of child abuse and neglect a year. Thousands of children are killed and severely injured. Abuse and neglect take a long-term physical and emotional toll on individual children, their families, and the communities in which they live.
- In 2008, 4,877 Nevada children were victims of child abuse and neglect.
- Child abuse and neglect costs America $109.1 billion a year and contributes to poverty, crime, and alcohol and drug abuse.
- For every dollar spent by the federal government in subsidies for the out-of-home placement of children, 14 cents is spent on prevention and protective services.
- From 2005 to 2009, Congress cut federal funding to states to treat and protect abused and neglected children by 17%.
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $1 billion to states for child protection. This funding will end at the end of the year.
- Despite receiving some federal support, Nevada cut $56.15 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) in 2009.
- Home visits help reduce child abuse and helps the economy –Fifteen years of research on home visiting for at-risk mothers, beginning during pregnancy, resulted in less welfare, less child abuse and neglect, less maternal and juvenile arrests, and a longer time between subsequent pregnancies. Investment in 2½ years of home visits costs $7,000, while the estimated return to society is $28,000.
- Parent education programs have been shown to reduce child abuse – Parent training aimed at child-rearing competence and stress management have been proven to reduce risk factors associated with physical child abuse.
- Proven therapeutic treatments to abused and neglected children can minimize the long-term effects of abuse.
While the recently enacted comprehensive health reform bill will ensure that most children and youth receive timely and comprehensive medical attention, those children covered under Medicaid may be at risk if states’ budget problems continue.
- In 2008, 129,000 children received some form of government funded health care, and 129,000 were uninsured.
- As a result of the health care reform bill, those under the age of 26 can remain on their parent’s health insurance, and insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
- In 2009 Nevada received $450 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Medicaid costs.That money is about to run out ,and children could lose or not be able to get coverage as a result of the state’s continuing budget problems.
- While the Health Care Reform Act does require coverage for basic pediatric services, including oral health, 72.5% of children enrolled in Medicaid in Nevada do not receive dental care.
- Immunizations save money, improve children’s health throughout their lives, and provide substantial economic benefits – The Centers for Disease Control estimates, for every dollar spent on childhood immunizations, between $6 and $30 are saved in direct medical costs from diseases prevented.
- Insuring all children, as well as adults, will improve the economy – The potential economic value to be gained in better health outcomes from continuous coverage for all Americans is estimated to be between $65 and $130 billion each year.
- And because dental care is the single greatest unmet need for health services among children,
- ensure that Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program – the programs that serve low-income children – work better for kids and for providers so that insurance coverage translates into real access to needed care
- expand sealant programs for kids who need them most
- help expand access to optimally fluoridated water
- expand the number of professionals who can provide dental care to low-income children
Millions of pre-schoolers lack access to affordable, high-quality education opportunities.
- High-quality pre-school increases a child’s chances of success in school and in life. Children who attend are less likely to be held back a grade or need special education. They have higher earnings as adults and are less likely to commit crime.
- Nearly 50% of all kindergarten teachers report that at least half of their students come to school with problems that hinder their success.
- In 2008, flat funding for the Nevada State Pre-Kindergarten Program limited enrollment to around only 1,000 children in the state.
- Federal funding for Head Start early education and nutrition program was cut by 5.7% from 2005 to 2008.
- In Nevada, Head Start serves only 2% of 3 year olds and 4% of 4 year olds.
- Head Start in Nevada received an increase of approximately $3.1 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That funding is scheduled to run out this year.
- Pre-Kindergarten Education Programs Lead to Better Future Educational Performance – Low-income children who attend pre-school programs perform at higher levels than those who do not. Children attending high-quality programs had one or more of the following outcomes: lower special education rates, lower grade retention rates, higher achievement test scores, higher high school graduation rates, and higher post secondary enrollment rates.
- Pre-Kindergarten Education Programs Help the Economy Thrive – The average benefits from a universally accessible pre-school education program at ages 3 and 4 are estimated to be at least $25,000 per child, substantially more than the costs. The estimated cost- per-child (mixing half day, school day, and full day programs) is $8-$17K for two years.
Millions of children and youth who are in unsupervised situations at the end of each school day would benefit from participation in quality after-school programs, where learning continues in a safe, supervised environment.
- 62.4% of Nevada children under 6 have both parents in the workforce.
- More than 121,960 Nevada youth are responsible for taking care of themselves after school.
- The President’s 2011 budget would cut funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, the primary source of federal funds available for after-school programs, by 1.7%.
- On school days, the hours from 3-6 PM are peak hours for:
- kids to smoke, drink, do drugs, and engage in sex,
- innocent kids to become crime victims,
- 16 and 17 year-olds to be in a car crash,
- teens to commit crimes.
- Researchers estimate that every dollar invested in after school programs saves $2.50 in crime-related costs.
- Participants in after school programs are much more likely to go on to high-quality high schools compared to non-participants (65 percent vs. 26 percent). Those who attend often are also more likely to be promoted to tenth grade on time (92 percent vs. 81 percent). Earning promotion to tenth grade on time is a key predictor of high school graduation. (Policy Studies Associates, December 2006)
- A compliment of early education and participation in after school programs can reduce initiating drug use among youth by nearly 50 percent (45.8) while reducing the likelihood of them skipping school by half.
Millions of infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers lack access to affordable, high-quality early care and education opportunities.
- Currently in Nevada, 62.4% of children under 6 and 73.1% of children between 6 and 17 have both parents in the workforce.
- 125,161 Nevada children have single mothers who work.xxii
- Full time child care workers make about $18,500 a year almost $10,000 less than the average salary in the state.
- Average child care costs in Nevada are nearly $4,500 for school-aged children and over $9,000 for infants.
- Toddlers who receive quality care have fewer behavior problems and score higher on math and reading tests than children who attended low quality care.
- Just 8.6% of Nevada child care centers are accredited.xxvii
- From 2005 to 2009, federal funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant was cut by 7.4%; the child care entitlement to states was cut by 5%.xxviii
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided Nevada with an additional $14.3 million and to date has provided care to 779 more children. This funding will run out at the end of 2010.xxix